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The role of senescent cells in ageing

Nature volume 509, pages 439446 (22 May 2014) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Cellular senescence has historically been viewed as an irreversible cell-cycle arrest mechanism that acts to protect against cancer, but recent discoveries have extended its known role to complex biological processes such as development, tissue repair, ageing and age-related disorders. New insights indicate that, unlike a static endpoint, senescence represents a series of progressive and phenotypically diverse cellular states acquired after the initial growth arrest. A deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the multi-step progression of senescence and the development and function of acute versus chronic senescent cells may lead to new therapeutic strategies for age-related pathologies and extend healthy lifespan.

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Acknowledgements

I thank J. Campisi, J. Kirkland, R. Naylor, B. Childs, D. Baker, R. Urrutia, M. McNiven and R. Bram for helpful discussions and comments on the manuscript. I apologize to those whom I was unable to reference owing to space limitations. This work was supported by grants from the Paul Glenn Foundation and the National Institutes of Health (R01CA96985, R01CA166347 and AG41122-01P2).

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  1. Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA

    • Jan M. van Deursen

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The author declares no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to Jan M. van Deursen.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nature13193

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